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going to the dentist alone

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iamrealrobot

Junior member
Joined
Feb 20, 2010
Messages
5
i've originally posted this in another thread... sorry, it didn't occur to me that i'd be better that i'd start a thread of my own. so here's my post:

hi, all. i'm glad to have found this forum. i haven't gone to a dental clinic for maybe 8 years now... i have most of my lower bad teeth broken down to the gumline. started 7 years ago when one of my teeth cracked when i was eating dinner; that tooth had a filling that i didn't know had worn off... & then my the next ones just cracked one by one.

yesterday, i went to the mall & actually stopped by in front of the dental clinics. don't know if i have the courage to jut go in & have my teeth checked. & my family members don't know how bad my teeth really are except my brother who accidentally saw one of my broken teeth stumps...& yeah, i felt ashamed.

So that's what stopping me. i don't know if i just go in there & have somebody just look at these things i've been hiding, even when that somebody is a professional.

but i do plan of going in there tomorrow. probably alone.

so what first do i say to the dentist? i'm thinking, "beware! my teeth are really bad!" dunno.

Don't know really what to do.
 
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iamrealrobot

Junior member
Joined
Feb 20, 2010
Messages
5
& all my family members go to the same dentist... we have the same family dentist for 28 (?) years now. all of them had been seeing that dentist regularly. except me. of course, i couldn't go to that same dentist as she was the one who did all my tooth extraction while i still a kid... she seemed nice enough that she probably wouldnt reprimand for letting my teeth go bad, but then i'm not sure she wouldn't let on my parents or other family members about how bad teeth are. & then if my mother knows, she'd start talking to me in a "concerned tone", the way she does when i get acne breakups & prescribe me astringents or whatever...

just trying to get out this low self-esteem issue, that i'm "shy" (doesn't really like talking a lot) because of the way i look like... and now this bad teeth case would just add to that so i havent talked to it to anyone except here...

& then i envy those who could in the middle of a conversation say things like "is the clinic open on saturday afternoon" "i think i need to have my teeth cleaned". it makes me feel abnormal not to be able to say those kind of things. i can't even watch toothpaste commercials in full, esp. with those happy shiny kids,
 
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funnyc

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2010
Messages
116
Location
NYC
hey.

you have come to the right place!
many of us here have the exact same fears about what the dentist is going to say.

The fact that you are going is huge!
Telling your dentist how you feel is so important. I sat on the side of the chair and cried for a few minutes before I could even talk to mine.

It's hard to not think about what others are going to say or how they are going to react, but try to focus on you and that you are doing something very positive.

I also cringe when other people talk about going for a cleaning like it's the most natural thing. Like they are going shopping or or out for dinner.

I hope you feel better.
 
robotguy

robotguy

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 2, 2010
Messages
400
Location
Nr Cambridge UK
I would think that everyone on here knows exactly how you feel about being ashamed of your mouth, because we've all felt like that too.

When you go to a doctors or hospital its mostly because you are ill, caught an infection or been in an accident, all things that are out of our control, so there is no shame in it. Our mouths and teeth though, we feel should be fine if we do as we are told and clean them regularly. For them to be bad or need work must be our fault, and everyone will judge us as failing, the worst of these is the professional who we have to go to to fix them back up. But sometimes brushing and keeping them clean doesn't work, sometimes we will get infections in our mouths, sometimes its the way we have been treated by others in the past that keeps us away from the dentist. The worst people to judge our own mouths are ourselves.

You have the power in you to fix your mouth back up, with a little help of course, you just need to find the right member of you team. The fact that you are planning on going into the clinic is a huge step, its one that I had avoided for 20+ years, in your mind you are already thinking about the next step - what to say to the dentist, rather than, how do I get in the door, thats brilliant.

How do you start the conversation with the dentist, well I did it by saying something along these lines; "before I show you my teeth I need to tell you that they aren't very nice. I've tried to look after them but I've always been made to feel a failure with them, but now I trying to find someone to help me fix them back up". This makes the dentist start to think, "how can I help fix this" instead of "what have they done".

I also asked to show my new dentist my teeth in a mirror, with them by my side, rather than have them look down on me in the chair, again this makes them equal to you rather than putting them above you in a position of authority. You aso have control of the speed that you show your teeth, front, one side, then the other side. Talk to your dentist about what you are going to show them, then show each bit in turn. I found this so much easier than letting them see everything in one go.

Talk to your dentist, try not to clam up and 'put on a brave face' you are more than just another nervous patient, be prepared that you may cry, this is a big thing you are admitting, but I promise you that the first contact is the worst, from there on it will get easier and you will be taking steps to improve you health, no one can say that isn't a very good thing to do.

We are all here to support you, we know what you are going through. Since I've started the recovery of my teeth I've managed to only find a couple of people in my circle of friends who 'get' how I feel, everyone on here though 'gets' it, and will support you 100% :XXLhug:
 
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iamrealrobot

Junior member
Joined
Feb 20, 2010
Messages
5
thanks all for the kind words.

to robotguy, what you said that i should be prepared to cry, that's the biggest thing i'm bracing myself for. aside from having bad teeth, i am a terribly repressed person. i could break down after just being asked a seemingly simple question by a person i had no right to expect to be sympathetic to me (long ago, this exact thing happened & the person involved was my boss). i've been breaking down since last night & i thought i had everything let out, i went to sleep. but i've started again...

i'm feeling better now.

i hope i won't be making a fool of myself crying when the dentist asks me a simple question & make him/her think i should have gone to a psychotherapist instead.
 
robotguy

robotguy

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 2, 2010
Messages
400
Location
Nr Cambridge UK
I cried a lot getting through this but neither the dentist or the therapist was worried about it, they both gave me time to recover my senses and a handfull of tissues. Admitting how your mouth is the first time to someone is hard, but once its done, you have taken the first step that doesn't have to be taken again.

After my first visit where everything was a bit of a blur to be honest, I haven't felt the need to cry like that again and the shame that I used to have has shrunk with each visit. My dentist has never 'told me off' or given me the 'lecture', she knows how hard all this is for me.

Rather than seeing the crying as a sign of shame think of it as a release, all those problems about your mouth have now been shared, someone else is taking a load of it away from you and will help you get a healthy mouth again.

I still get tearful occasionally, but I also am finding a great sense of relief that I am getting through this, one small step at a time.
 
S

Stress Doc

Account Closed
Joined
Dec 10, 2008
Messages
788
Hi iamrealrobot

You do not need to feel ashamed about your teeth, we all have challenges. I have worked in healthcare for many years and have always had respect for people that have chosen to face fears and improve their lives.

Dentists became dentists to fix damaged teeth and relieve pain. I know many dentists and almost universally they are amazed at how brave people are that have endured years of dental pain and discomfort.

Also, they have seen everything and are not surprised by the state of anyone's teeth.

The dentist is there to solve your dental problems, not to create more. It can be helpful to write out your questions and take them with you. Facing this is the best thing you can do. Compassion for yourself is very healthy and proactive.

Be proud of yourself for deciding to improve your life. This is the best choice you can make.

Blessings :D
 
D

drummerswife

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 30, 2009
Messages
1,251
Location
omaha, nebraska
I second what Stress Dpc said as I think he hit right on the head. I would add that it is my hope that at least most dentist realize that judgements do pot create a positive rapport with their patients.
I would encourage you to go for it, you will feel so much better!
 
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iamrealrobot

Junior member
Joined
Feb 20, 2010
Messages
5
Thanks all for the support :D

I went to the dentist yesterday, and luckily the one that I had was really nice. I had three teeth extracted & one major filling done and cleaning. I have 3 more teeth to be extracted and filling for 10 (!) more surfaces. I'll go back later this week.

I didn't break down... hooray! It helped that my dentist was so matter-of-factly (well, I did also my best to be like that too) & didn't ask one too many questions about my teeth & my dental history. She took a look at my teeth and just told me succinctly what needed to be done.

The extractions were surprisingly painless. After the session, my dentist noted that I looked pale (I have some kind of blood phobia & would also turn pale in a few other kinds of situations), but I guess this would be normal for me :rolleyes:

Thanks again everyone! :D
 
robotguy

robotguy

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 2, 2010
Messages
400
Location
Nr Cambridge UK
Well done, you managed to have a lot done at your appointment, sounds like you should be able to finally put the state of your mouth firmly behind you.:jump:
 
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